Go to any supermarket, and it may feel like doom and gloom. You can grow your own food if you feel inclined to, yet if you play your cards right, you will be able to buy what you need. Throw in rising interest rates, as well as expensive power bills, and it can feel like a recipe for disaster. Know that inflation is currently out of your control, although on the flip side, your reaction to this once in every decade (or sometimes two decades) economic event is something that you can control.
In Australia (where yours truly lives); The RBA (no different to the fed in America: another central bank) has just raised interest rates/the cash rate not by a quarter of a percent, but rather by half a percent today (as at the time of writing this.) Now that is a social, economic, and financial shock to any debt owner right now, irrespective as to how well off they are (or seem to be). For the savers out there, it is a promising helping hand; yet the problem is that your new, enhanced interest rates still will not beat inflation (rapid price rises that surpass income levels), unless you are involved in Peer to Peer lending, and/or you have a cryptocurrency backed savings account (for example, in $TAUD - not $AUD, you can earn an extra 3-4% in interest on your savings, away from a bank.) The latter definition on inflation is the simplest way of explaining this circumstance that each and every person with a pulse is having to deal with right now; even if you are fortunate to depend on the bank of mom and dad, and/or you receive some form of windfall and allowance.
As the prices of goods and services are rising (a combination of corporate greed, as well as demand and supply; and the recent events that have massively shaken up our planet over the last two years) you definitely need to earn more in order to live that same quality of life that you enjoyed this time last year. For example, for every $100, just make that $150 to be safe, and to have a buffer for emergencies, and so that you can still treat yourself while avoiding deprivation territory as much as possible.
There is hope, and like any circumstance, this too shall pass. A crystal ball cannot even tell you accurately as to when. In a calm way, you are welcome to smash a pillow at home, as you are allowed to be angry at the global economy for kind of stealing a portion of your hard earned dollars.
Yours truly is currently undergoing some home renovations on a vacant, and (most importantly) mortgaged property that she is intending to sell. Now that hurts, as all renovations are costing a third of what they would have costed a year ago. Why? Painting a house/hiring a painter is expensive as. So are installing new plantation shutters ordered locally, as opposed to overseas, where shipping is naturally drawn out, and this is despite not having a secure job, combined with an up and down freelance business. To make matters worse, saving up for such means that funds are being redrawn out of her line of credit, hence increasing the balance of the loan, of which will be wiped out when the sale of the property finally settles. That means that interest is still charged on the balance of the day. Not to be political, yet American people are now paying more for essential medicines than us folk in the land down under. Not complaining. These are hard truths right now.
Be a survivor, and you will be like the phoenix rising from the inflation ashes, rather than being burnt (and broke) along with it.
Easier said than done, yet it is wise to save money right now, yet not at the expense to having a roof over your head, as well as to your health and wellbeing. You do not have to save a lot. Even transferring some spare change (round ups on your purchases or otherwise) into a high interest savings account (they still exist), and/or into a stock investing app like Raiz (only available in Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia - yet for certain there are equivalents in other countries) helps. Even if it is only a dime. Holding a portfolio of stocks (index trackers) on the ASX; that is beating inflation for moi, despite the volatility, and depending on how long you held onto such assets/equities prior.
Investing in hard assets like real estate, gold, and silver should not be overlooked. Although precious metals may not make you any money now; yet they are known to be a hedge against inflation. You have money printing to thank for that. Just saying. Precious metals are actually worth something.
Do not get into debt, unless you have to, in order to buy a home, and/or to get yourself out of a violent or other sticky situation. These circumstances should be the only excuse to take up some new debt in a high inflation climate. Set up a debt repayment program, while not neglecting to save for emergencies. Life can be cruel and uncertain. I hate to break it to you, yet you and I know that emergencies happen both in the good times, and in the not so great times. This is why you need to find a way to save, and to pay down this fresh debt.
Pay cash where possible; especially if surcharges are passed on by merchants for card transactions. Everything adds up, and every single cent and dime matters more than ever in a rising inflation like economy.
Depending on your personal situation; you may (or highly likely) will have to cut back on some frivolous expenses. Eating out every night? Cut that back, and cook at home. Going to the gym? Cancel that membership, and exercise outside. You are substituting your joy, while still experiencing it. I get that yoga (for example) is more enjoyable and pleasurable in a studio environment, yet for the sake of surviving and then beating inflation; some temporary cuts are needed. Yoga can be done at home, and depending on where in the world you live; you could enjoy a community based yoga session outdoors, of which are normally free of charge, and you also get the added benefit of fresh air. You get the drift. Just substitute your lifestyle. Go to the movies? Stop going, and connect to Netflix instead, or actually use it. I am not telling you what to do, or how to do it. I am just merely advising you on where you could possibly substitute your fun, based on recent experiences.
For example, yours truly loves a pot of tea. At $12 a pop while eating out, this really eats into the inflationary hip pocket. Despite the 50% price rise at the supermarket; a quality 10 pack of tea can now be purchased for $6. And with the current pack of rooibos tea that I am personally enjoying (combined with another pack of lavender tea); the package has a stencil that you can color in after use. Another added benefit: tea and therapy. It is wise to also go to the supermarket just before closing (where fresh food is heavily discounted - that can be dinner for you). There are items on special still. Opt to also go during off peak times (for example, on weekdays during the day if you can, when the majority of people are working) as you will be able to buy some quality discounted items before anyone else is able to.
Do you like to talk? Despite the high inflationary climate, companies are taking market research more seriously than ever. I know this as a UX Designer, as companies are backing up customer feedback/reviews through undertaking user research in order to improve their product and/or service offering in increasing their bottom line. Register with a couple of top quality market research focus group companies. It only takes a few minutes of your time to register with them. Remember to complete your profile truthfully and completely. Then (depending on your profile) you will be contacted for suitable focus group sessions where they pay you in cash or vouchers just to share your opinion on products you love and use. Earning $60 for a hour-long session in Australia is quite common. Note: some research firms only allow you to participate in one research session once every six months). Otherwise you can join survey sites, and complete surveys for gift vouchers.
Buying gift vouchers on sites like eBay do come at a discount, as eBay is perceived as a site where bargains can be obtained. The sellers usually sell unwanted vouchers, either given to them as a gift, or from a work bonus. Just watch the expiry dates though, and the key is to redeem them the moment you receive them.
Provided you do not burn yourself out; getting a second job (even a weekend temporary one) is also a viable option, to make more money/bring in some extra cash. If possible, it is better to (always) be working in a role that you enjoy. That way, that income that is being eaten up a bit by inflation right now will feel less of a burden, combined with that job.
Not everyone is an entrepreneur, yet now is a good time to increase your income by starting a side hustle, or pick up some more freelance based work in line with your day job. For example, teachers can become tutors a couple of evenings a week, and also enjoy the potential tax benefits of being a contractor from such a side hustle. Typists and secretaries can become transcriptionists with companies like Rev. The key is just to bring in a bit more dough to deal with the effects of nearly every single thing (always the necessities such as housing, utilities, and food) costing anywhere from a bit to so much more. Just undertake a Google Search for ways to earn some extra coin, and you will be surprised with the number of opportunities that come up. The key is to enjoy your work, and ensure that flexibility is allowed. I get it, you might be feeling tired and frazzled after a full days work, yet we are only talking about at least a couple of evenings a week. If you want to change your life for the better, and to be a step ahead of the inflation curve; you just have to have the courage to dig deeper, and to just do it. Picking up new skills and bettering yourself is always a noble achievement.
This might go against the inflation grain, yet in order to release a vacuum; it is great to volunteer a small amount of your time, and/or to give to those in need. For instance, not to impress, but rather to impress upon you that yours truly gave a banana to a homeless person in my local area recently without overthinking it. Yes, the banana costs more than it did a mere six months ago (thank you inflation - not) - yet the happiness and sincere thanks on that homeless persons facial expressions and body language is gold. Give without expecting anything in return, and things that you would normally pay for will be given to you; if not opportunities for healing that will open up the goldmines of higher income when those unconscious blocks are released will blossom. That person is worse off than those that do not have a roof over their heads right now. That person is waiting on public housing. It was nice to feed that person a nourishing snack, and in turn, enable them to save any coins accumulated, so that (hopefully) inflation is a little less shocking to them when they finally get a home of their own again.
Not so great things happen to nice people, and hard working people. That is the way of the world, and for being here, this current economic storm is what we have signed up for, whether we like it or not. Giving without any expectations of receiving is the fertile soil for more abundance. Even being grateful for what you have, and for what you buy, even if that gas is costing you more at the gas station.
How are you beating inflation? How else can you beat inflation?
Let's help each other weather out this inflation storm.
In leaving, I wish to leave you with a masterpiece of a song that was written and released in these high inflationary times. This song also reminds us of this ever changing world:
If inflation could talk to us, it would be saying that same as the chorus of the above song: "You know it's not the same as it was." For now (economically and financially speaking) anyway.
About the Creator
Freelance Internet Moderator/UX Writer/UX Consulting Designer/Graphic Designer
Lives in Sydney, Australia. Loves life.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
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